February 23, 2001
8 Days a Week
Sometimes, regardless of style, you can feel a sense of community in a piece of music. As I let the rough mixes of Club d’Elf’s As Above (Live Archive) drift around the house for a long weekend, it became obvious that collaboration is the center of the group’s trance funk. Make that space-dub trance funk-there’s a fair amount of meteorite debris that splats down on the Middle Eastern sandstorms. Here’s the community I’m talking about: Up in Cambridge, bassist Mike Rivard established a biweekly residency at the Lizard Lounge, convening pals like keybster John Medeski, violinist Mat Maneri, and oud maestro Brahim Fribgane; DJ Flack and saxophonist Tom Hall were also along for the ride. The looseness was formalized, and a record was made. If you recall how the blending of musicians from the Knitting Factory, Sun Ra’s Arkestra, and Phish did their thing on Surrender to the Air, you’ll have a feeling for the improv-driven amorphousness of d’Elf. The guys are hitting the road, and, on their way to New York, they’re stopping at the Columbus Theatre (270 Broadway, Providence). If you’re the experimental type, you’ll need to be there. And if you’re not, the warmth and cogency of this groove unit might just turn you into one. Tickets are $15. Call 831-9327.